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Government officially opens IDU/ICU facility

The  government has today officially opened an Infectious Disease Unit (IDU) and the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) facility at the new Kenyatta University Teaching , Referral and Research Hospital (KUTRRH).

Speaking  at  the facility on Wednesday, Health Cabinet Secretary (CS), Mutahi Kagwe noted that initially the hospital had a bed capacity of 650. Out of these 150 for cancer and around 500 beds when COVID 19 striked in March.

Today we will have an additional 500 bed facility out of which 60 of the beds will be HDU/ ICU and today already installed 30 beds.

As opposed popular opinion that the health sector is overwhelmed , even the original 24 that we had put in place are not fully occupied so it is not true but it is better be ready in advance”, he said .

Kagwe explained that with the support of the government working together with the facility there are now having 60 additional HDU/ ICU beds and 440 isolation beds, bringing the total number of beds in this facility to 1150 beds out of which 150 are for cancer purposes and the rest committed to COVID 19.

“Oxygen is a very important part in the fight against COVID 19 and this facility has an oxygen plant that is piped to all clinical areas and is able to refill to other facilities within and without this institution.

It is worth to note, the CS said that the progress made is not isolated and that all facilities managed by the National Government, have shown tremendous improvement as well as County governments that have upscaled their level of preparedness and response in this fight against the disease.

“Nairobi accounts for 60 percent of all COVId 19 positive cases and is at a critical stage in the growth of the pandemic and requires increased capacity to cope with the situation”, he said .

Today, the CS sadly noted that the government has lost two healthcare workers to Covid-19 and this he said is like losing a soldier in the middle of a battle and therefore the need to keep our medical personnel as safe as possible.

“Service delivery remains a county governments function and I want to urge the county governments to listen to any complains , murmurs or concerns among our health care workers with a view of addressing them in the soonest possible time. As a ministry we stand ready to extend our support as maybe necessary to ensure our people are served across the county .

We recognize the need to higher more health workers and personnel in this field . we have increased funding to county governments to do exactly that and its our hope and expectation that where there are shortfalls they will be addressed as soon as possible.

On the COVID-19 statistics, today 671 people have tested positive from 6,200 samples tested in the last 24 hours bringing to 23,873 the number of positive cases.

Our cumulative tests now stand at 329,123 and from e cases 633 are Kenyans while 38 are foreigners. 413 are males and 258 females and the youngest case is a three-year old baby, while the oldest is 94.

Nairobi continues to lead with 376 people , Kiambu takes second position at 112 cases , Machakos 20, Kisumu 16, Kajiado 16, Busia 15, Uasin Gishu 15, Nyeri 13, Narok 10, Nakuru 10, Bomet 9, Kericho 9, Meru 7, Mombasa 6, Embu 5, Nandi 5, Kisii 5, Garissa 3, Tana River 3, Kilifi 2, Muranga 2, Tharaka Nithi 2, Trans Nzoia 2, Vihiga 2 Baringo 2, Kakamega 1, Nyamira 1, Samburu 1, Taita Taveta 1,In Nairobi ‘s 376 cases Dagoretti North with 42 is quite a big number for the area its followed by Langat with (37), Westlands (34), Kibra (25), Kamukunji (23), Kasarani (23), Makadara (22), Embakasi East (21), Starehe (21), Dagoretti South (20), Ruaraka (20), Embakasi South (19), Roysambu (17), Embakasi North (15) Embakasi West (14), Embakasi Central (12), Mathare (11).

The  CS  noted that today 603 patients have recovered from the disease. This is a good balance with the people who have contacted, is good news because it means as the spaces are vacated thehn we can bring in new cases without stretching the capacity.

From  this number 436 are from the Home based Care program while 167 have been discharged from various hospitals, bringing the total number of recoveries to 9,930.

Unfortunately, the country has also lost 3 patients to the disease, bringing our fatality to 391.

The  Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital (KUTRRH ) Board Chairman, Prof. Olive Mugenda said that as the number of new COVID infections continue to rise, the capacity of the hospital to receive more patients is getting smaller and smaller thus the adding of the beds. She added that currently the institution is hosting 20 Cuban doctors who are serving in different sections in the hospital namely oncology, dialysis unit , ICU and they will be working for a short period of time before they proceed to serve in different counties in the country

The  Ag. Director General Dr. Patrick Amoth said that on average the government has now traced more than 75,000 contacts since the pandemic began.

He explained that Contact tracing is a science that when one needs to identify the contact is either based on a COVID 19 test or a presumptive diagnosis Covid 19 tests and at the end of contact tracing period of 14 days then one does a discharge.

“We have done well so far but remember the pandemic isi n various stages and in Nairobi currently we are reporting intense community transmission and therefore making contact tracing very difficult.

He however noted that for a County such as Marsabit or Samburu who have just recorded their first cases, one can do intense contact tracing and stamp out the transmission and therefore the government is developing different interventions based on the pattern of the disease across the country.

On home based care programmes, Dr. Amoth said that so far the government has discharged 5666 people almost a 50/ 50 percent with hospital discharges despite homecare starting just 7 weeks ago. This shows 144 days down the lane since the first case that the hombe care based is reaping good dividends and that the government will soldier on to strengthen its systems.

So far he noted that there are 723 health care’s workers infected by COVID 19 out of which 385 are male and 338 female.

“This is about 3 percent of total caseload. One health care workers infected is one too many”, he said, adding that unfortunately the country had by yesterday lost 8 of them but today added 2 more bringing to a total of 10 health care workers who have succumbed to the disease.

By  Wangari  Ndirangu

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